One of the first questions we get from a client prospect is, How can you help me grow my business? The answer is always the same, What stage of growth is your company in?
To know where you’re headed is to know how you’re doing right now. As part of our internal audit of organizations, we help to determine the current state of growth or crisis, which can be found in the chart below.
The 5 Stages of Company Growth vs. Crisis outlines the five average stages of a company’s growth trajectory (blue curve) versus the four stages of its potential demise (red curve), based on company revenue and lifespan. While the chart is self-explanatory, it bears noting that the Growth trajectory does not have to follow this trend to reach Maturity. In fact, a company can face Plateau and Expansion at any point in time. This is particularly true in the technology sector, in which a fledgling company can seemingly go from Startup directly to Expansion in a matter of two years! The same can also be true of Plateau, which can happen at any time and repeat itself throughout the growth cycle. That said, facing a Plateau can actually be a great thing. It allows for recalibration of your Operations, Infrastructure and/or Staff, which are the three pillars keeping your businesses running smoothly. The Crisis trajectory, as you guessed it, does not have to follow each phase before a company’s demise. During the Startup phase, anything goes and you may find yourself closing shop within months. But let’s hope that if you do face a crisis, that you are able to jump to the Growth curve. It’s happen before. As part of your internal audit to assess your growth goals, look at the chart and ask yourself, What stage are we currently in?